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Nat Commun. 2019 Sep 18;10(1):4244. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11960-w.

Cross-linked beta alumina nanowires with compact gel polymer electrolyte coating for ultra-stable sodium metal battery.

Author information

1
Shenzhen Geim Graphene Center, Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, 518055, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510275, China.
3
Shenzhen Geim Graphene Center, Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, 518055, China. he.yanbing@sz.tsinghua.edu.cn.
4
Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory of Materials for Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, Anhui, China.
5
Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL, 60439, USA.
6
Xiamen Institute of Rare Earth Materials, Haixi institutes, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xiamen, 361024, China.
7
School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, 710049, China.
8
Shenzhen Environmental Science and New Energy Technology Engineering Laboratory, Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI), Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, 518055, China.
9
Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Key Laboratory of Materials for Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, 230026, Anhui, China. yanyumse@ustc.edu.cn.
10
Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy (DNL), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Dalian, 116023, Liaoning, China. yanyumse@ustc.edu.cn.
11
Nanoyang Group, School of Chemical Engineering and Technology, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China.
12
State Key Laboratory for Physical Chemistry of Solid Surface, Department of Chemistry, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen, 361005, China.
13
Chemical Sciences and Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Lemont, IL, 60439, USA. junlu@anl.gov.
14
Shenzhen Geim Graphene Center, Tsinghua Shenzhen International Graduate School, Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, 518055, China. fykang@sz.tsinghua.edu.cn.
15
Shenzhen Environmental Science and New Energy Technology Engineering Laboratory, Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI), Tsinghua University, Shenzhen, 518055, China. fykang@sz.tsinghua.edu.cn.

Abstract

Sodium metal batteries have potentially high energy densities, but severe sodium-dendrite growth and side reactions prevent their practical applications, especially at high temperatures. Herein, we design an inorganic ionic conductor/gel polymer electrolyte composite, where uniformly cross-linked beta alumina nanowires are compactly coated by a poly(vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene)-based gel polymer electrolyte through their strong molecular interactions. These  beta alumina nanowires combined with the gel polymer layer create dense and homogeneous solid-liquid hybrid sodium-ion transportation channels through and along the nanowires, which promote uniform sodium deposition and formation of a stable and flat solid electrolyte interface on the sodium metal anode. Side reactions between the sodium metal and liquid electrolyte, as well as sodium dendrite formation, are successfully suppressed, especially at 60 °C. The sodium vanadium phosphate/sodium full cells with composite electrolyte exhibit 95.3% and 78.8% capacity retention after 1000 cycles at 1 C at 25 °C and 60 °C, respectively.

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